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Internet Archive hosts thousands of classic MS-DOS games for free

Old games are absolute classics. Especially when you include the likes of The Oregon Trail, Prince of Persia and other DOS titles. If you've been meaning to fire these games up to relive the past (or find out how gaming was like back in the day), the Internet Archive has over 2,300 MS-DOS games available for free.

It's a perfect opportunity to find out how old games, with sub-par pixelated graphics when compared against titles released today, provided immersive experiences. "I'm all about that gameplay, that gameplay, that gameplay. Not graphics." So how does one play the games offered on the archive? All you need is your web browser.

The catalogue runs in an emulator, hosted on the web. This removes the tasks of downloading emulators and individual ROMs to play. Simply choose a title and hit play. The only issue being the website doesn't offer easy-to-use filters to browse the collection. Now excuse us while we go and enjoy some retro fun.

Source: Internet Archive, via: Wired

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

99 Comments
  • These classics...............
  • Brings back memories. They should add achievements to some.
  • Xbox support LOL
  • Might actually happen in the future depending on how they integrate the next browser. I know it's wishful thinking, but maybe they will put in a fully functional browser in the OS after Win 10 drops.
  • Is there also something so I can play Windows 98 games on XP (or above)?
  • Vmware with windows 98 or xp installed in it.
  • Vmware? Is this an individual software, and can I run this on Windows XP / 7 and 8.1?
  • Just go to vmware.com and see their Downloads section. Virtual machine software means you can run Windows inside Windows, or Linux inside of Windows, or Windows inside Linux, or Linux inside an OS X operating system on Mac computers, etc. It also means you can run MSDOS games in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 also, of course (Note! If VMWare supports the tech preview release. They might not!) I use Virtualbox, the free and open source competitor, but unlike VMWare, games normally do not run as they should. Most crash for me when I try run them in a Windows 8.1 virtual machine on my Mac.
  • win 10 tech preview runs on vmware just fine :)
  • Specifically you want VMWare Player, they have alot of software and most of for enterprise use for the exception of Player or Fusion for Mac.
  • Well they show why gaming should be about gameplay and not fancy graphics (call off duty in talking about you too lol)
  • Huh? Doesn't CoD get slammed for the exact opposite reason, that they don't update their graphics because the gameplay is enough to draw their fans in and make the sequels popular?
  • Wow. Just wow.
  • Well to be honest...call.of duty and battlefield games are always just the same..this time..it was just added boosters which help you jump more...its the same fight a lot of guys..checkpoint...fight again..checkpoint..qte...
  • Sort of I guess...except I don't feel that way. Feels like cod just changes graphics, and never changes gameplay. And you can't really compare this to cod, considering the games are older than a vast majority of the cod community.
  • Someone needs to put this in an app for WP
  • Haha been playing some classic games from my emulators recently like double dragon, sensible world of soccer, cannon fodder, speedball, golden eye, turok..... All free. Been playing all the Nintendo, Sega and Amiga games all for free. Think I might have a go at pilot wings now
  • I set up my old Atari for my nieces and nephew and threw on Pong for them. After they hecklers me over how cheesy it was, they got into an hours long competition with it...
  • Very cool that you kept your Atari! And it still runs! Ha!
  • How cool was the Cannon Fodder song
  • Loved that song... Even now it brings a tear to my eye lol
  • Classic! http://youtu.be/PiYuq6Ac3a0
  • So many times did I try to get Jools & Jops to the end alive but always failed. War has never been so much fun!
  • I played it yesterday when 9GAG published it. Are cool actually.
  • On that note...9gag released a game..specifically for android lol..
  • Good old classics yay!! Nothing like the happiness I had playing those games few years back. Not even the modern games today.
    But wait, tomorrow is my semester exam... Will check back later :(
  • Are you in first semester bro ??? BE??
  • Hey! Is that Basics of Electronics?
  • Nice guess! But I'm doing B.Tech (C.S.E.)
    BE stands for Bachelor in Engineering, a different degree I guess.
  • Same here bro... BE in CSE.... I think both degrees are same... Do you have your physics exam tomorrow??
  • In CSE? Cool! Hi5!!! They're almost similar (same opportunities) except that B.E.(CSE) has more theoretical study than B.Tech (from what I heard)... And I've always been running away from theories till high school so... ;)
    Physics? I had it on 31st Dec and now preparing for Engg. Manufacturing Process (to be held on 10th Jan, i.e. today) :D
  • ' I'm all about that gameplay, that gameplay, that gameplay, not graphics'
    Lol it's like part of lyrics on Meghan trainor song :D
  • ;-)
  • Yeah I'm totally about the gameplay too. I actually find those old games more fun than the modern ones. It's like back then they needed to concentrate so much more on the overall experience rather than just relying on fancy graphics and effects to distract you from how mediocre the games are today. Making a game fun with only 1, 4, or 16 colors requires GREAT gameplay to make them sell.
  • Jes uis Charlie
  • Awesome
  • That is a good idea, but id like to play those classics on the Phone, it would be awesome, or even on the PC, but offline as a program
  • Then download one of the many PC emulators. I believe the point of this is to tell you that there's an online emulator for those who don't want a tonne of ROMs on their PC.
  • It will suck playing on phone unless you have a controller pad. Virtual sticks and which suck.
  • Yep I wish phone option was there. Had to connect a blue tooth keyboard to play on my phone.
  • "Yep I wish phone option was there. Had to connect a blue tooth keyboard to play on my phone." You're obviously not using a Windows Phone.  If you were, you couldn't connect a keyboard to it. :(
  • Correct, I never said I was using a windows phone when playing these games on my phone. I do use a windows phone for my primary but I do have an android phone that is from another carrier (was att now Verizon) I refused to part with (note3) as I can do a lot of things with it. One being connect an external Bluetooth keyboard to it :).
  • Can these be ported to windows phone as games?
  • These DOS games actually work on the Windows Phone web browser. Good luck playing them without a keyboard though =P
  • Haha, cool!
  • Ain't that the truth. Imagine playing the original Prince of Persia on a touch screen, ugh. Talk about a game that needs a keyboard or prepare to die by spikes everytime. :-/
  • Yes and no. You could port them if you have the source code and are willing to do a lot of work in rewriting the code. Perhaps keep all graphics files and then rewrite the code to make it run on multiple platforms, including mobile. You could bundle games with an MSDOS emulator for the phone, if one is available.
  • Here's how I feel about this: "Maybe your happiness is a moment away...maybe your happiness greets you like a new day...la la la, what a beautiful life..." Happiness by Twirl. Heard for the promo of Xbox One as well. Here's the link to listen to the track:
    http://www.libertylicensing.com/music/twirl-441/liberty-happiness-0007133
  • Abandonware nice
  • Awesome!
  • Anyone used the emuparadise site to play all the old classic games? Got snes, mega drive, all the handhelds like game boys....neo geo... Basically a lot lol and I use the PS3 pad on my laptop to play Nintendo 64 games. If you want to play a Nintendo 64 game all you got to do is go to that site then download the N64 emulator (that's the name of a console) then go to N64 roms (roms are the games) and that's it..... That's all you need to do. Takes a few seconds to do and easy. Hardest bit at first is setting up the control pad settings.
  • I played Prince of Persia on DOS, yeah I am cool like that. and there has been dosbox and an amazing frontends like D-Fend Reloaded (my favorite), this sounds like something cool. but I like the offline stuff and being able to customize it. but Prince of Persia seems to work nice on here even though I couldn't play it on fullscreen. but it felt nice. at least the jumps seemed responsive, because once I played PoP2 and took me 2 hours to make a simple jump and too much rage xP so I wonder if that jump would be good on this browser version of dosbox. anyway I bet some kids would think these games aren't fun or and all, but Cat Alley was a really cute and great game.
  • Oh and all the emulators I mentioned above can be played full screen and save any time you want. Perfect :-)
  • I used to play Duke Nukem and Dave! 
  • Doom, Shadow warrior, FIFA 94, test drive 3, NFS........damn the schooldays that ruined those fun holidays
  • Big relief for me to hear I am not the only "old" guy here ;D (I am slightly above the 30 threshold).
  • Gotcha beat. I'm 50. Anyone here older? I'd still like to get DOSBox on WP8.1, just so I can play Kings Quest, Space Quest, and stuff like that all over again, but on my phone.  
  • Dave dangerous
  • Too ancient for me. PlayStation 2 is where my nostalgia starts
  • mine are pc games.
  • GTA San Andreas. Wah! Kya din the :)
  • max payne
  • NES for me :)
  • It's so easy to spot the youngins in these comments sometimes.
  • "Youngins" ?
  • Youngin would be someone who is quite young. I'd have to agree it's simple to figure out sometimes. I'm only in my early 30's and I've played everything from Atari all the way up. If you got nothing before PS2, you've got a lot of catching up to do.
  • Same here dude! Except, I did not hang out with friends who used home computers back in the days. I started out with a brand new SEGA Master System, the first edition. Hang On built-in, along with the secret built-in Maze game and spme stand alone purchases like Wonderboy, Teddy Boy, Fantasy Zone 3: The Maze, California Games.. Also, I borrowed Psycho Fox from a friend, played the original 8-bit Castle of Illusion on my own real SEGA Master System, etc. It is a pity the young people only get to play the emulators. It is not the same feeling at all. Especially the SEGA Master System Gamepad is like nothing else out there. It is just different in how it feels to use.
    Yeah my friends had NES and SNES as soon as SNES was launched that is.
    I also subscribed to a local edition of a SEGA fanatic magazine.
  • Intellivision. Buzz Bombers, Pinball, AD&D.
  • Moral Kombat, Bare Knuckle, Contra and Sonic :-)
  • If PS2 is your start of gaming you missed out on Mortal Kombat entering the world through video arcades. Placing quarters on an arcade machine to call dibs on taking the losers place at chance to be the next champion at the helm of the arcade stick.
  • Remember that old GTA and those sounds
    >"Pistol"
    >"Machine Gun"
    And top view gameplay
  • I have the "Waaaaasssstttteeeddd" as a notification tone ;)
  • Imho still the best one ever... These ones that ppl use to play now... Seems so argh ... What are they trying to achieve? Oh I know, "how kool is to be a jerk gangsta" ... old days lots of fun
  • Even better, they have Streets of Rage 2 :D  Though much better playing it in a proper emulator. 
  • Played mega man from the nes and so damn hard lol
  • MEGAMAN is real badass! Damn tough!
  • Old school games never gets old...
  • Where PES 6? I still playing it :P
  • Ooh, it'll be interesting to give the original Microsoft Flight Simulator a spin!
  • Prepare to crash a lot. LOL
  • Was that dos? I did FS98 but it was GUI.
  • No x-wing vs. Tie fighter, but it has battle chess.....
  • The Oregon Trail, awesome!
  • N64 star wars.... Oh yes my friend... That's where it is at. In fact... The N64 stars wars racer still has good graphics too this day
  • Hoping for Below the Root, Darkseed, Haley's Comet. 8^/
  • No xbox no... Oh wait...
    :)
  • Great collection.  I was really hoping for Colassal Cave though.
  • Public service announcement: Sorry, but with 2 pre-teen boys, and the nature of the rest of the site, it remains blocked on my home network (they refuse to block objectionable content).  It's just that simple (and it saddens me because a large percentage of their content is awesome).
  • Thanks for the porn locator tip.
  • Still looking to see if they have Rodents Revenge. But some of the blurbs for these games are hilarious. Some are imaginative, others I'm pretty sure drugs were involved.
  • I just died of dysentery reading that post! Brings back memories of 2nd grade!!!!
  • LOL
  • Oh man! While most of the games where before my time, I remember Dom, Prince of Persia & that police cars race (never knew it name)
  • Oregon Trail... Don't recall the grade for certain, but I recall playing it on one of the two or three elementary school PCs around 1984 +/-.
  • That opening sentence was so redundant, lol. I had to say something.
  • I was not able to find Leisure Suit Larry.After all these years still be looking for love in all the wrong places :)
  • +100
  • I'm 70. Had a Sinclair 1k in 1980. Loved my Atari 800. 300 baud modems for "bulletin boards". Typed in programs from magazines. Loved those dos games! Must have emulator!!!
  • I still having my old odyssey and Attack of the Timelord :3 there's no nothing better than revive old times .. About dos games prince of Persia best one :D and oh I remember my bro,making that classical Antarctic adventures using MSX/ENCORE.. So much fun with that weird background music and trying to make penguin not fall down .. Oh gosh need to play it right now :P